Federal regulators have approved a small change in a Nebraska nuclear plant's flood preparations. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission license change issued Wednesday should ensure the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant shuts down sooner in the event of a flood.
NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding says the change reflects an issue identified before the 2011 Missouri River flooding and it will make Fort Calhoun's flood plan more conservative.
The nuclear plant Omaha Public Power District owns will now shut down whenever the river rises to 1,004 feet above sea level. Previously, the plan didn't require shutdown until the water reached 1,009 feet above sea level.
In 2011, flood waters reached 1,006 feet above sea level and surrounded the nuclear plant, which was already shut down for maintenance. Barriers protected the plant's core.